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Barry Bonds jury hears secret tape testimony

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SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Testimony in the Barry Bonds perjury trial focused on a secret recording of the US home run king’s trainer talking about steroid injections.

In the taped locker room chat, secretly recorded by a former friend and business manager of Bonds in 2003, trainer Greg Anderson talks about the dangers of repeated steroid injections in the same spot.

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“Is that why Barry didn?t just shoot it into his butt all the time?” Steve Hoskins, the man who made the recording, asks Anderson.

“Oh no, I never — I never just go there. I move it all over the place,” Anderson says, explaining that prevents a “gnarly” cyst from forming, a common side effect of using the same injection site too many times.

Bonds is charged with lying to a federal grand jury in 2003 when he denied that he knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs.

He pleaded not guilty to four counts of lying under oath and one count of obstruction of justice.

On cross-examination, defense lawyers hammered Hoskins about his motives for making the recording.

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They implied in questioning that Hoskins, a friend of Bonds since childhood, was bitter over a friendship and business relationship gone bad and may have altered the recording.

Hoskins maintained he taped the conversation to play it for Bonds? father, former San Francisco Giants player Bobby Bonds, in an attempt to elicit the elder Bonds? help in stopping his son?s drug use.

Hoskins said his only alteration was to raise the volume on the recording because it was difficult to hear.

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“I would want to help Barry then, and I would want to help Barry now,” he said.

Later in his testimony, Hoskins called Bonds “a very good friend — a very good person.”

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“He?s also the best baseball player that there?s ever going to be,” Hoskins added emphatically. “That was one of the reasons that I was the one trying to stop him taking steroids, because I thought it was bad for him.”

Hoskins, a soft-spoken man in a gold tie and cream-colored jacket who seemed unfazed during withering cross-examination, also told jurors that he once observed Bonds go into a bedroom with Anderson, the trainer, during spring training.

Bonds sat at a table with his lawyers, expressionless as Hoskins described seeing Anderson emerge from the bedroom holding a syringe with a needle.

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Anderson, who served several months in prison for steroid dealing, is currently behind bars for refusing to testify in this case.

Bonds had previously asked Hoskins to investigate an injectable steroid called Winstrol, Hoskins said.

“He just wanted me to find out what (the) specific steroid was and wanted me to find out what the effects were,” Hoskins told the jury of eight women and four men.

About a year after Bonds asked him to look into the steroid, Hoskins said, Bonds complained about the physical side effects of steroid injections.

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“He just complained that his butt was sore from the injections,” Hoskins said, “just that the steroid was — the shots were making his butt sore.”

Hoskins testified that he noticed physical changes in Bonds. He had to order larger sizes of shoes and gloves for the Giants star as his physique expanded, he said.

The San Francisco Giants slugger “got bigger and heavier. A lot more muscle.”

The trial was scheduled to continue Thursday with additional cross-examination of Hoskins and testimony from James Valente.

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Valente is the former vice president of BALCO, the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative that created once undetectable designer steroids whose discovery rocked athletics and baseball.

BALCO is at the heart of this case as well as several major doping cases.


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C-SPAN caller scorched by Muslim comedian for ignoring Jesus after she rants ‘gays are abomination to God’

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Comedian Dean Obeidallah, who is Muslim, told a C-SPAN caller that Republicans are not following the teachings of Jesus Christ even though they may oppose abortion and other policies advocated by evangelicals.

"I am independent," Pam, who called from Arkansas, told Obeidallah. "I vote according to my conscience of who would Jesus vote for if he were here on Earth. And he would not vote a group of people who believe in murdering children in the womb, on gays, which is an abomination to God, on false gods from other countries."

Obeidallah replied with a lesson on the Christian savior.

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Conservative drops mic on complicit press trying to maintain access to Trump: ‘He’s a raving lunatic … tell it like it is’

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Appearing on MSNBC's "AM Joy" conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin excoriated members of the press who -- in the pursuit of appearing "objective" -- refuse to "tell it like it is" when reporting on President Donald Trump.

Speaking with host Joy Reid, Rubin -- one of the president's more avid critics -- got right to the point.

"I think there are two things, "Rubin began. "One, I think that this notion of objectivity of balance has been so inculcated into the media that they now don't call it like they see it at all because they are walking on eggshells."

"When the president had that out of control press conference if you could call it that, when he was rambling on and on, they were so restrained, they described it as a celebration," she continued. "No, he was a raving lunatic. You need to use the words, the verbs and correct description so you give the public a feel of how dangerous this guy is. That is not being biased -- that is being accurate and revealing the danger this guy poses."

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Trump belatedly snarls at media for reporting a portion of his wall fell over — two weeks after it happened

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On what must be a slow news day for President Donald Trump, he took to Twitter on Sunday morning to attack the press for reporting that a portion of his wall on the southern border toppled over two weeks ago -- and then blamed the collapse on "soaking wet" concrete and high winds.

Falling back on his stand-by "Fake News," the president tweeted: "Last week the Fake News said that a section of our powerful, under construction, Southern Border Wall 'fell over', trying to make it sound terrible, except the reason was that the concrete foundation was just poured & soaking wet when big winds kicked in. Quickly fixed 'forever'."

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